What fathers learned from their fathers

From generation to generation

What was a ritual your father taught you growing up that you carry on with your own little ones today? We asked some Chicago Jewish dads to weigh in on their favorite full-circle family traditions.  


Kyle Freimuth

One of my favorite traditions that my parents did with me was around bedtime. Every night, my Dad would say, "Good night, sleep tight, see you in the morning light. Mommy and Daddy love you. Good night!" I say that every night to my kids. 


Rabbi Josh Marder

My father grew up during the 1960's hippie era in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I grew up rowing on the crew team rowing during the '90s.  I raise my kids in a post-millennial world of the 2020s.  Thankfully, we always have a place to bond through playing music together.  My father had a Jewish music/klezmer band, and I played with them sometimes.  I had my own Jewish music band.  Now, my oldest son leads concerts, and sometimes I get to play with him, too.   Our common ground, our common bond, transcends the generations with our instruments in hand.


Josh Herz

 Like many families, we had Shabbat dinner every Friday night. My brother and I were encouraged to invite friends so it would be more appealing to us. Jen and I have continued this tradition with our kids. It's a special time for us to be together with family, and the kids like it because they each get to have a friend over. Win/win!


Lonnie Nasatir

 My tradition is taking my kids to Sox games, which was a huge part of my growing up with my dad.


Rabbi Taron Tachman

My father, Raymond Tachman, was a first-rate ping pong player at a time when table tennis was as popular among Jews as Mahjong. When I was young, my father taught me the ancient Jewish secrets of ping pong competition. Years later, L'dor V'dor , I am passing the paddle to my daughters as I train them to be fierce table tennis warriors, just like their Zayde , z"l.


Paul Wieder

 My father and I prayed together every Friday night for Erev Shabbat when I was growing up, and now I do that with my son. He especially likes the musical parts, singing Lecha Dodi and the trop for the V'Ahavta , and coming up with new tunes for Adon Olam , from "Yellow Submarine" to "Yankee Doodle."

  ~Compiled by Michelle Cohen


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